Immunoglobulin (Ig) class switching can occur in the absence of αβ + or γδ + T cells when mice are infected with certain live viruses, although CD4 T helper cells are believed to be essential for induction of a high-affinity antibody response and for efficient isotype switching from IgM to IgG and IgA production. However, little information is available about the immune responses after mucosal immunization of CD4 + T cell-deficient mice with inactivated virus. In this study, we show that intranasal immunization with formalin-inactivated influenza A/PR8/34 virus induces IgG and IgA responses in serum and IgA responses in mucosal secretions in CD4 + T cell-deficient mice. All four subclasses of IgG were produced. IgG1/IgG2a ratios were found to be from 1 to 1.75, indicating that both Th1 and Th2 immune responses are induced by the inactivated influenza virus. The sera and mucosal secretions were found to have neutralizing activity against influenza virus in vitro. In addition, the mucosally immunized CD4 + T cell-deficient mice were protected completely from challenge with a lethal dose of live, pathogenic influenza virus. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that mucosal immunization with an inactivated virus induces immune responses in serum and mucosal secretions in CD4 + T cell-deficient mice.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by research grants AI 28147 and AI 054337 from the National Institutes of Health, NIAID. We thank Drs. Aron Lukacher, Jacqueline M. Katz, Harriet Robinson, and Periasamy Selvaraj for helpful discussions and suggestions. We also thank Tanya Cassingham for assistance in preparing the manuscript.
- CD4 T cells
- Mucosal immunization